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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

CHAP, iv                 THE CHURCH OF S. IRENE                        85
NOTE
Other churches of the same name were found in Constantinople : S. Irene in the Seventh Region, according to the Notitia. S. Irene in Sykai (Galata), irepav IvS-wccus ; Theophanes, p. 353. S. Irene by the Sea, Trpbs 6d\acr<rav; Nicetas Chonlates, p. 269 ; Synax., Jan. 10. The last was also known as the New, Nla 5 Synax., Jan. 23. Erected in the reign of the Emperor Marcian, it was partially restored by the Emperor Manuel Comnenus after its destruction by fire 5 Nicet. Chon* ut supra. It was styled likewise c at the Ferry,5 rb nepa^a ; Codinus, De aed* p. 89 5 Banduri, ii, p. 31.
Until the year 360, when the church of S. Sophia was opened to public worship by the Emperor Constantius, S, Irene appears to have been the cathedral of the city. Hence, probably, the name sometimes given to it, the Patriarchate, TO Trarptap^elop.1 Nor did the church lose its primacy altogether even after the erection of S. Sophia. On the contrary, the two churches were regarded as forming one sanctuary ; they were enclosed within the same court, served by the same clergy, and known by the same name, c the Great Church,' $ Me<yd\<rj 'E/e/eX^a.2 S. Irene was again the sole cathedral building, while S. Sophia lay in ruins for eleven years after being set on fire in 404, on the occasion of the final banishment of John Chrysostom.
S. Irene comes prominently into view during the fierce struggle between the adherents of the Nicene Creed and the Arians, in the half-century which followed the inauguration of New Rome. Having been persuaded that the point at issue between the two theological parties was not essential, and that the agitation of the question was due to love of disputation, Constantine the Great, who valued peace at almost any price, attempted to suppress the controversy by his authority, and accordingly ordered the Patriarch Alexander to admit Arius, then present in the city, to the Holy Communion. With this order Alexander, a champion of the Nicene Creed, refused to comply. Whereupon the followers of Arius decided to have recourse to violence. But on the very eve of the day fixed to carry out their purpose, Arius was taken suddenly ill in the Forum of Constantine
1 Banduri, ii. p. 52.                                     2 Socrates, li. c. 16.